Re: Red Light Violation Feedback Needed
Well, that section does not state that "submitting a TBD" is an exclusion to that requirement or that "submitting" a TBD is any different to "requesting" a TBD. If you're suggesting that the mere fact that submitting a form TR-205 is sufficient to be deemed an entry of plea (whereas requesting it isn't) , then pursuant to CRC 4.210(b)(3) and I quote:
... a request must also be made by submitting a TR-205.
The defendant must file a Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205)
with the clerk by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear or the extended due date as provided in (2). The Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) must be filed in addition to the defendant's written request for a trial by written declaration, unless the defendant's request was made on the election form.
Take it a step further, assuming that a request is only valid when signed by the defendant, then I'm not seeing a difference between submitting a signed form TR-205 requesting a TBD along with *a check for the bail amount* as opposed to submitting a signed form TR-205 wherein the defendant's statement of facts is included.
Wait, one more.... Just because a few people (wink-wink) don't believe that TBD is in fact reviewed by a judicial officer (rather than only glancing at it and tossing it aside) and they (wink-wink) don't believe that it can in fact result in a dismissal and instead, suggest that a simple "I stand by my plea of not guilty" will suffice, that does not mean that the plea entry only happens when the TBD is submitted. In fact that statement ("I stand by my plea of not guilty") is in and of itself an indication that the plea entry has already occurred at some point in time in the past and certainly before the time the TBD is submitted...
One more, a request for a TBD is not made in front of the judge. Instead, it is made to the clerk either by mail or in person. Fact is, the entire procedure is designed with the idea that a court appearance in not required. And if the language that you quoted were to apply to the TBD/TDN process, that first possible opportunity that a defendant has to enter a plea in open court would be at the point when the defendant appears for the TDN. And yet I have never head/seen that a TDN is stated by the judge asking you to enter a plea. typically, he's asking if the witnesses have been sworn in and subsequently asking the officer to begin!
My guess, and even without a specific statement pleading not guilty, the fact that you're submitting the bail without an actual plea, in theory, a plea of "not guilty" is entered on your behalf and your case is scheduled for a trial - by declaration. This would be similar to a case where the defendant refuses to enter a plea, the judge will then enter a plea of "not guilty" on his/her behalf and the case is scheduled for a trial.
Then again, maybe you'e seeing something else that I am completely missing! In which case, I trust you will let me know!
It is obvious that until yesterday evening, we could not establish with any reasonable certainty, whether the light was a circular red or a red arrow (I learned the hard way not to trust in Google-Maps). So a demurrer would not have been an option until this time.
Considering the fact that the bpat has submitted a request for a TBD, received and extension, posted bail, and now has only 5 days to submit his declaration, and on the "assumption" that he has not already entered a plea by submitting his request for a TBD and posting bail, and even if he were to contact the court and assuming that they would agree to his withdrawing his request for a TBD and scheduling a court appearance, it is my opinion that he might not get an arraignment date until at least a month from now, thereby delaying the possible date of such demurrer by that amount of time as well...
Even with that, I'm not sure a demurrer offers a greater guatantee of success over a TBD simply because this is an infraction... If this had been a misdemeanor, filed by the District Attorney's office where the Deputy District Attorney attending the arraignment is fully aware of the circumstances of the case, and he/she is served a copy of the demurrer before hand, and is therefore able to voice any possible objections to the demurrer then I might agree that the defendant can present it, the DDA will respond, and the judge will rule. With this being an infraction, and with the likelihood that a prosecuting attorney will not be present, I'm not sure the average traffic court commissioner would entertain the idea of a dismissal on a demurrer after only hearing one of two possible descriptions of the circumstances, instead, it is my opinion that most judicial officers would prefer to have the officer there to justify his reason for citing one section over the other (even in a case like this one where the evidence is unquestionable).
Q, you might have missed the part where OP mentioned that he is quite a distance away from the location of the alleged violation. So simply driving by to record a video is not likely to happen in the next few days. Even if it were and while there are in fact 3 signal heads, all three are located on a single upright/signal arm (with no other signal pole in sight) it would not matter whether they are wired in series (off of one wiring run) or in parallel (three separate runs, one for each lighthead) because all would be connected to the same timing circuit! As you can see from the Google view above, there is not that great a distance between one and the other so I'm not sure if any timing difference (due to any immeasurable difference in resistance with that short of a distance between them) will be noticeable with the naked eye... So we're back to square one where the officer claims the light was red, and the defendant claims the light was yellow!
Of course, as I stated in my last reply, if bpat feels this second possibility is worth exploring, it is his option take the drive. make the video and review it, that is ultimately his decision not mine. Similarly, if he feels a demurrer is worth the shot, then by all means, contact the court to see what options he has at this point in time, let us know and we'll go from there!
While I might agree that it might be too technical of a technicality to a judicial officer who's reviewing the TBD, I really am not seeing how it stands any better chance of being any less technical by way of a demurrer versus a TBD.
I, unlike others here (wink-wink) still have as much faith in a TBD as I do in a trial. And if past history is indicative of future results (that wouldn't work in the stock market though), then here is a similar case of "the (c) should have been an (a)" citation which was, in fact, dismissed at the TBD level.
I am right 97% of the time... Who cares about the other 4%!